If you ask someone what the most conservative places in the United States are, they would certainly name somewhere in the south and likely name Texas. So, which cities in Texas are liberal?
Liberal cities in Texas often have an ethnically diverse population and vibrant communities. Despite gerrymandering resulting in mainly Republican representation in Congress and the Senate, most cities have elected Democratic mayors.
Although Texas doesn’t even crack the top ten most conservative states, it’s been a quarter of a century since it had a Democratic governor, and the one they have now is far-right. Despite this, Texas has several majority-liberal cities, including Austin, Houston, Laredo, and El Paso.
What Cities in Texas Are Liberal?
Most liberal cities in Texas are in large metropolitan areas or near the Mexican border.
It may surprise people that Texas’s capital city is a liberal hub. So much so that former Texas Governor Rick Perry called it a “blueberry in the tomato soup.” For the last three decades, Austin has had a Democratic mayor.
Austin is currently spread between three different counties, all of which voted blue in the 2020 presidential election. Travis County, the county that most of Austin is in, had the highest democratic margin in the state for that election, with democrats earning 71.7% of the vote and republicans taking 26.5%.
A few components likely cause Austin to be so deeply blue. The city strongly focuses on education, and the University of Texas flagship campus is located there. It’s also the home of the South by Southwest media festival. It has taken on the nickname Silicon Hills due to the influx of tech companies like:
One of the most significant factors in creating this liberal oasis is diversity. Just under 50% of Austin’s residents are white, and 33% are Hispanic or Latino.
Austin is said to be a safe place for marginalized people to live.
El Paso is Texas’s westernmost city and sits on the Mexican border across from Ciudad Juárez. These two cities, combined with Las Cruces, New Mexico, form a metropolitan area that some call Boarderplex or Paso del Norte. In 2022, El Paso has a Democratic mayor, and in the 2020 presidential election, El Paso county went:
- 66.8% blue
- 31.6% red
El Paso has one of the largest percentages of Hispanic Americans in the country, at 81%. With a demographic like that, it’s not surprising that the area is so blue.
The Rio Grande separates El Paso from Ciudad Juárez; residents here don’t want to “build a wall” that could disrupt the river or their property lines.
One of the most extensive metro areas in the country is the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with 7.5 million people. The area spans several different counties, with Fort Worth serving as Tarrant County’s seat and Dallas as Dallas County’s seat.
Both cities have Democratic mayors, and both counties went blue in the 2020 presidential election.
The race in Tarrant County was close, at 49.3% blue and 49.1% red, a difference of just 2,000 votes. Dallas County, on the other hand, had a much larger margin, with 65% of votes going blue and 38.4% going red.
Like Austin, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is a popular place for Fortune 500 companies, which has led to an influx of transplants from states like California and New York. The area also has 41 colleges and universities, and the UT Southwestern Medical Center has six Nobel Laureates.
This area is also diverse. The 2020 census found almost 30% of the population in the area is Hispanic or Latino, and 16% is black or African American.
Laredo is a southern city that sits across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. Laredo sits in Webb County and claims almost the entirety of the county’s population.
In the 2020 presidential election, Webb County was solidly blue, with:
- 61.1% of votes going to democrats
- 37.9% going republican
Laredo has one of the country’s highest percentages of Hispanic citizens, with over 95% of the population claiming Hispanic or Latinx heritage. Interestingly, while there aren’t any major metropolitan areas in this part of the state, it’s the only area in Texas with a handful of blue counties.
San Antonio is another blue dot in a sea of red. The city stretches across three different counties, but it’s the seat of Bexar County. In the 2020 presidential election, Bexar County went 58.3% blue and 40.1% red, despite all surrounding counties being deeply red.
The population of San Antonio is 64%, making it the US city with the third-largest Hispanic population.
Houston is the largest city in Texas and sits right off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Like many of Texas’s other major cities, it stretches across several counties.
Most of Houston is within Harris County, a county that in the 2020 election went 56% blue and 42.7% red. Houston also has a Democratic mayor.
Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, with 44% of the population identifying as Hispanic or Latinx and 22% of the population black or African American.
Despite Texas’s ban on sanctuary cities, Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city wouldn’t assist in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids.